Heritage & Historic Sites

Parramatta is home to a fascinating collection of colonial heritage sites in both the city centre and surrounding areas such as Harris Park and North Parramatta. They date back to the 1700's and 1800's and mark the arrival of the British colonialists to a region once inhabited by the Burramatta indigenous clan (Parramatta's namesake).

Many significant properties were protected as the city of Parramatta grew. They have been retained as museums, churches, protected parkland and monuments and many are now open to visitors.    

The best introduction to Parramatta's heritage sites and stories can be found at the Heritage Centre, located at 346A Church Street Parramatta (next to the Lennox Bridge and a ten minute walk from the rivercat wharf). There you will find information about area's history; explained via photos, stories and artifacts, also a local studies library, a gallery space, activities, workshops, and a visitor information centre providing maps, guide books and advice.

If you are looking for tours you can find a list of operators in the Parramatta area at


Parramatta Heritage & Visitor Information Centre

The Parramatta Heritage Centre provides a unique starting point for discovering the city's past, present & future - And it's only 10 minutes from the ferry wharf.

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Elizabeth Farm

Built in 1793 for John Macarthur (father of the Australian wool industry), Elizabeth Farm is today Australia's oldest European dwelling.

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Old Government House

For 7 decades it was the 'country' residence of the first 10 Governors of the colony. The convict-built property lies within Parramatta Park, with sweeping views over the Parramatta river.

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Experiment Farm Cottage

The site of the first land grant in Australia, made in 1789 by Governor Phillip to the former convict, James Ruse - an experiment in self-sufficiency.

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Hambledon Cottage

Built by John Macarthur is 1824. It had many occupants including Penelope Lucas, his daughter's governess.

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The Lancer Barracks (Linden military museum)

Lancer Barracks were built in Parramatta between 1818 and 1820 to house the British troops who garrisoned the then colony of NSW.

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St Patrick's Cathedral, photo courtesy of Heritage Branch, NSW Dept Planning

St Patrick's Cathedral

One of the city's most impressive landmarks, winner of the Sir Zelman Cowan Award for Architecture (2003) and a seemless merging of old and new. The site itself dates back to 1820.

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St Patrick's Cemetery, photo courtesy of Heritage Branch, NSW Dept Planning

St Patrick's Cemetery

At the junction of Church Street and Pennant Hills road is the oldest Catholic cemetery in Australia, the earliest memorials dating from 1822, many of them early Irish settlers.

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St John's Anglican Cathedral 2015

St John's Cathedral

The site on which St Johns Cathedral stands is the oldest continuous place of worship in Australia. The southern tower houses 13 memorial bells, gifted to the church and dedicated in 1923.

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St John's Cemetery, photo courtesy of Heritage Branch, NSW Dept Planning

St. John's Cemetery

Australia's oldest surviving cemetery dating back to 1790. An important site with graves from the First Fleet and well known pioneers, including Reverend Samuel Marsden, David Lennox and two governor's wives.

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Brislington Medical and Nursing Museum

Brislington - a gracious Georgian building stands on the corner of George and Marsden Streets in Parramatta. It is the oldest existing dwelling house in the inner City of Parramatta and since 1983 has been a Medical and Nursing Museum for the former Parramatta Hospital.

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Female Orphan School & Margaret Whitlam Galleries

One of the very few surviving public buildings of its size dating from the early colonial period. Predating even Hyde Park Barracks, the Female Orphan School is the oldest three-storey building in the country.

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